3 Steps to Turn a Report into an Executive Presentation—Step 2

You have gathered and analyzed some interesting budget, operations, research, or workforce data and described your findings in a written report for your work team. Now it’s time to brief top-level executives on this valuable information. Your purpose is to summarize (“Executize”) the data and communicate its significance without overwhelming your audience with too much detail. To turn your report into a tailored presentation that meets the needs of those executives, use a three-step approach: PLAN, DECONSTRUCT, RECONSTRUCT.

Our first of three blogs 3 Steps to Turn a Report into an Executive Presentation–Step 1 explored the planning step. Now we are ready to deconstruct your report:

Step 2: Deconstruct your report to build an Outline from the message and supporting main points you listed during the PLANNING step. Don’t start in PowerPoint. Instead start with a Storyboard.

2.1 On the first storyboard, write a predictive Presentation Title. The title should indicate both the topic and scope of your presentation. Following your organization’s required style, add your name, title, and other identifying information.

2.2 On the second storyboard, list your Agenda—your list/outline of main points.

2.3 Following the order you selected during the PLANNING step, write each main point on a separate storyboard.

2.4 Break each main point into its sub-points, one sub-point per storyboard. Consider this question: For this audience, what level of information can be productively (and strategically should be) introduced?

2.5 For a memorable presentation, express each sub-point slide title as a complete sentence that captures the take-away message of each slide.

2.6 Support each sub-point slide title with text and an interesting graphic, ensuring both text and graphics are clear, unambiguous, and succinct. Each slide should reinforce your main points. Create high-level versions of your report graphics. And as necessary for understanding, break out the detail into several supporting graphics. For each graphic, present the take-away message as a caption or “Bumper Sticker.” This caption or “Bumper Sticker” is the conclusion that the audience is to draw from the graphic.

2.7 Indicate where in the presentation you will distribute any Handouts. As allowed by the event’s/your organization’s PowerPoint guidelines/standards, indicate where you will add any Links, Special Effects, Video, or Demonstration.

2.8 Anticipating the audience’s questions, storyboard any Back-up Slides.

2.9 Determine what version (if any) of the presentation (Slides and Speaker’s Notes) the audience will receive and whether that version will be in electronic or printed format.

Your presentation storyboard will look something like this template:

PRESENTATION TITLE AGENDA (list of main points) 1. First main point
1.1 Sub-point/graphic 1.2 Sub-point/graphic 1.3 Sub-point/graphic
2. Second main point 2.1 Sub-point/graphic 2.2 Sub-point/graphic
2.3 Sub-point/graphic 3. Third main point 3.1 Sub-point/graphic
3.2 Sub-point/graphic 3.3 Sub-point/graphic CLOSING SLIDE
OPTIONAL: Questions Slide OPTIONAL: Back-up Slides OPTIONAL: Handouts

Consider a current presentation. How do you communicate your overarching message? What do you gain by taking time to construct a Storyboard?

Once your Storyboard is in place and each slide has its take-away message to support your main message, you are ready to construct your presentation.

Our next blog explores how to move your Storyboard into PowerPoint.


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